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Season 4
COMBAT! episodes:

[A Day in June]
[Any Second Now]
[Just for the Record]
[The Squad]
[Lost Sheep, Lost Shepherd]
[Forgotten Front]
[Missing In Action]
[Rear Echelon Commandos]
[The Chateau]
[The Prisoner]
[Escape to Nowhere]
[The Celebrity]
[Far from the Brave]
[The Quiet Warrior]
[Cat and Mouse]
[Reunion]
[I Swear by Apollo]
[The Walking Wounded]
[The Medal]
[The Volunteer]
[No Time for Pity]
[Survival]
[Next in Command]
[Night Patrol]
[Off Limits]
[No Hallelujahs for Glory]
[Battle of the Roses]
[Hill 256]
[The Sniper]
[One More for the Road]
[High Named Today]
[No Trumpets, No Drums]

 

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Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer * Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets 


Lost Sheep, Lost Shepherd (005)

Rating: 1 bayonet
*

Written by Robert Hardy Andrews
Directed by Burt Kennedy
Produced by Robert Blees

Aired October 16, 1962
Season 1, Episode 3
Syndication Order 5

Guest Star Jeffrey Hunter


SYNOPSIS:

Jeffrey Hunter stars in "Lost Sheep, Lost Shepherd" as tanker Sgt. Dane, a man mad at the world, mad at the war, and mad at God. He's not too thrilled with Hanley and Saunders, either. During the breakthrough, Hanley and a squad of men become cut off behind enemy lines. They are saved from a German ambush by the unexpected appearance of Dane and his tank. Their gratitude is short-lived as Dane’s recklessness and anger takes on a savage edge and they discover the secret he can’t live with: that he’s a failed priest now turned killer.

Review

Jeffrey Hunter and director Burt Kennedy together create a great triumph of style over substance in this tale of a man tormented by a lost dream. Hunter plays Dane with a startling intensity throughout. Kennedy provides moody and ethereal cinematography, highlighting Dane's wraith-like isolation as a man experiencing his own private agony (whether it's his private hell or private purgatory, even he doesn't know).

I enjoy watching this episode and revel in the craft of Hunter and Kennedy, but in the end, I always feel cheated by the tale. Ultimately, who cares? Considering his actions, I'd have to say that Dane was ill-suited emotionally for his chosen career. I agree with Saunders, whose long speech to Dane ultimately boils down to one simple admonition: "Get over it." Stripped of all the beautiful camera work and fine acting, "Lost Sheep, Lost Shepherd" is about a man artfully wallowing in self-pity for an hour.

ABOUT FILMING THE EPISODE:

Rick Jason always enjoyed working with director Burt Kennedy. “He was a wonderful director. Very easy to work with.”

NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:

  • The opening sequence includes fantastic footage of real tank engagements along with an overly dramatic narration.
  • Trek fans will remember Jeffrey Hunter as Capt. Chris Pike in the first Trek pilot.
  • Caje is conveniently absent from this episode. With him present, the squad could immediately have found out about the Germans from the priest. Where was Caje? Were he and Braddock out chasing babes together?
  • Speaking of Braddock, this is the first appearance of Kelly, in a very smart-aleck, comic role that in other episodes would have gone to Braddock.
  • Where did Dane get the cassock he's wearing in the final scene?
  • In the final scene where Jeff Hunter, dressed as a priest, shoots it out with the Germans, one of the Germans comes through the door carrying an American Thompson.
  • Doc, while holding the puppy, helps search the town for Germans. Why is the medic being used for search duty? What is Doc going to do if he finds any Germans: throw a puppy at them?
  • My favorite moment in the show: Hanley and Saunders burst into the church, teeth gritted and lead flying, spraying the building with bullets .... until you look closely and notice Hanley's gun isn't firing. He's just swinging that carbine back and forth. All the shots are coming from Saunders' Thompson.

Cast Credits

Portrait of Jeffrey Hunter Rick Jason
as Lt. Gil Hanley

Vic Morrow
as Sgt. Saunders

Special Guest Star
Jeffrey Hunter as Sergeant Dane

Steven Rogers as Doc
Martin Brandt as The Priest
Joby Baker as Kelly

Tony Mordente ..... Morello
Dick Peabody ..... Littlejohn
Rex Holman ..... Christy
Hans Difflip ..... German Officer


Dialog Excerpts

OPENING NARRATION:
Normandy, 1944. Breakthrough. For tank commanders there was no real front line. They met the enemy where he could be found. A few weeks after D-day, U.S. intelligence discovered that a panzer column had been redirected during the night to take positions near Vibrey(???). Our forces were ordered to engage them. The trap was set. Once the enemy was engaged, individual initiative took over. The front was fluid. Small infantry tank teams drove ahead, often to find that the enemy had closed ranks behind them. Tank detachments found themselves closed off from command. Spearhead tanks pushed on even though cut-off. Infantry units met up with them and, together, they pushed on, attacking as they went. Supplies ran short or disappeared entirely. Tanks were low on fuel. They fought on.
(See book review at bottom of page for more information about the actual battle, codenamed Cobra)
 

Saunders:
(Dane tries to go into Padre's room.) I wouldn't go in there if I were you. You're off limits. That's official, sergeant. (Dane continues towards priests room, but Saunders voice stops him.) Dane, I was talking to Morello and Christy, And they told me something. Something that's keeping me from putting my hands on you and just throwing you right out in that street. They told me that you were a ... a spoiled priest.
Dane:
Is that what they call me?
Saunders:
That's right. Well that can explain a lot of things. Like you blowin' that cross off that church. Goin' after the padre the way you did. Now, I can understand why a man that's trying to get something out of his system. But one war is enough to fight at one time. So why don't you just forget about the one inside you until this one is over?
Dane:
I don't need any advice from you, sergeant. There are a lot of things that Christy and Morello didn't tell you.
Saunders:
Do you wanna talk about it?
Dane:
No, I dont. (turns to go into priest's room)
Saunders:
Well, you better, because we're gonna tangle if you keep doing what you're doing.
Dane:
The week before I was to be ordained, I got into a fight. It wasn't the first time I had trouble. They were right. I deserved everything that happened to me. Sergeant, did you ever have anything get away from you? Something that you really wanted? That you loved? That you thought you couldn't be without? But you didn't know it until it was too late? Well, that's what happened to me. I wanted to be a priest more than anything in this life. Anything. I even thought about going back and asking them to forgive me. And I think they would have.
Saunders:
Why didn't you?
Dane:
Because of the war.
Saunders:
The war won't last forever.
Dane:
Oh, won't it? Do you think I could go back now? Start over?
Saunders:
A lot of us will.
Dane:
Well it's not the same for me. You know how many men I've killed?
Saunders:
Do you know how many I've killed because I've had to? You think it's easier for me because you're closer to God? Whatever we do, whatever happens to us, we're gonna have to live with it. And if we get out of here alive and get back home, we're just gonna have to learn to live with it. That's the way I figure.
Dane:
That's not the way I figure.
Saunders:
Yeah, and you wanna know why? Because you've got no guts. That's why you got yourself thrown out the way you did. Because way down deep inside you didn't think you were man enough. And you wanna know something, Sergeant? You were right.
Dane:
Can I go in now?
Saunders:
Why? What do you want to do in there. You want to grab that Padre? Is that gonna make you feel better, is it?
Dane:
I want to go to confession.
Hanley:
Sounds like the division's ready to break out.
Saunders:
Not too soon to suit me. I get lonely.
Hanley:
Sergeant, what do you make of Dane?
Saunders:
Seems like he and the Padre learned their Latin from the same book. Only the sergeant didn't get to graduate.
Hanley:
Who told you that?
Saunders:
Morello and Christy. I guess a man can carry a live bomb inside him just so long.
Hanley:
Who put it there?
Saunders:
Well, he did. But that doesn't make it any easier. Being a tank sergeant isn't the best way to becoming a priest.
Hanley:
Meaning he doesn't think he can get there from here.
Saunders:
Lieutenant, he killed ten men today. Maybe more. And then there was yesterday. And the day before. As the guy keeps sayin', it's a stinkin' war.
 
Back Up Next

Amazon.com logoBreakout at Normandy: The 2nd Armored Division in the Land of the Dead
by Mark A. Bando
Imagine being deep in enermy territory, some 12 miles behind the German front, when a massive tidal wave of retreating troops crashes against your thin line of tanks and halftracks. These retreating troops are not second string units, but elite SS Panzer outfits, moving in darkness to avoid fighter-bomber attacks and filled with a desperate determination to leapfrog your line to establish a new front.

That is how the 2nd Armored Division (aka "Hell of Wheels") became embroiled in one of the most confusing, carnage-filled battles of WWII. Derived from interviews of over 300 veterans of the 2nd Armored Division, the author pieces together the events of that horrilenight and tells this amazing true story in stunning detail. First-person accounts (both American and German) and over 110 rare photographs.
Trade Paperback: 160 pages, ISBN 0-760-30654-0
Read more...

See discussion of Normandy Breakout books

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